Practical Training

Practical training is defined as work experience in the student’s major field of study that can be conducted off-campus. Two types of practical training are available to international students: Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training. 

What is CPT?

Curricular Practice Training (CPT) is a temporary employment authorization that allows F-1 students to engage in an off campus academic internships or employment that is a required or an integral part of their academic curriculum.

  • Occurs before the student’s program end date on the Form I-20
  • Authorization is for one specific employer and for a specific period of time
  • Student must secure the training opportunity before CPT can be authorized

CPT Types:

  • Part-time: up to 20 hours per week during the academic year (Fall and Spring)
  • Full-time: more than 20 hours or more per week (only available during Summer or Winter)
    • One year of full-time CPT eliminates a student’s eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible to apply for CPT, students must:

  • Be in valid F-1 status
  • Have been lawfully enrolled full-time for at least one full academic year or will complete one year within 90 days of applying
  • Have secured an internship offer directly related to the major field of study
  • Is not studying English as a second language
  • Be enrolled in a major course that requires field work or an internship course (BUS 070A or BUS 070B)

Internship Courses:

  • BUS 070A: Paid Internships
  • BUS 070B: Unpaid Internships

How to Apply to CPT:

Secure the internship and obtain the job offer letter

  1. Need help? Speak with an Internship/Wk Based Learning Staff at the Freeman Center for Career and Completion. You may contact them by email at or complete and submit the internship appointment information form. 
  2. The job offer letter should be in the company’s letter head and include the following information: employment start and end date, indicate whether the training is full-time or part-time, whether the training is paid or unpaid, employer’s name, employer’s address, immediate supervisor’s contact information and explanation of duties.

Enroll in a major related course that requires field work or

Enroll in the internship course, approved by Dr. Kimberly J. Shediak. You may contact Dr. Shediak by email at once you have secured the internship.

  1. Provide the following information in your email: Job offer letter (see above for job offer letter requirements)
  2. Request to enroll in an internship class
  3. If the instructor approves the internship, you will be cleared to register for the right internship class (BUS 070A or BUS070B)
Email CPT request form and job offer letter to ISC Advisor

You will receive an email once your CPT I-20 is ready.

  1. Be sure to sign and date your CPT I-20
  2. You will receive additional instructions on how to apply for a Social Security Number from an Educational Advisor
  3. If any details of your CPT change, please notify the ISC Advisor, so that we may update your CPT accordingly
Responsibilities While on CPT:
  • CPT is only approved for the duration of the class
  • A new authorization is required each session/semester
  • Students cannot begin working until AFTER they have received CPT approval from ISC Advisor
  • Follow the rules of the CPT authorization; do not work outside of the start and end dates or for another company
  • Continue to maintain full time enrollment, unless approved for reduced course load
  • Report any changes in name, address, employer and loss of employment to ISC within 10 days of any change